Sunday, 6 April 2008

Skink Tales

We share our spaces with native skinks. Not that we have a choice in the matter. They emerge from the tiniest holes in the stone walls, slip inside through imperfect wooden joins, or scurry in through windows and doors opened to catch the faintest breeze. They thrive on our windowsills and benefit from an environment fairly safe from birds. As I walk past the shower, a skink challenges me from the floor, at the edge of his turf which extends under a plastic storage bin. I keep worrying that I might rush through one day and accidently step on him. He doesn't like to give way. I prefer skinks as guardians of the windowsills. They excell at keeping any fly population under control. We discovered, as a result of our casual ways in lunch making, that several skinks acquired a taste for crumbs of boiled egg yolk, tidbits of grated carrot and mashed avocado. They also like our reliable midday meal schedule, as one can't rely on flies. Now all I have to do is start grating a carrot and a skink appears!

The old kitchen sponge on a nearby ledge makes a perfect skink platform for perusing the lunch preparations while assured of a handy hiding place underneath the sponge. As a rule, the first skink on the scene chases away any other skinks. The photo shows something special happening: a pair of skinks! Mating season, no doubt. As skinks have had fewer flies available since Cyclone Larry (two years ago), we don't mind the scavenging practices of our resident reptiles, though their food choices did take us by surprise. We can't leave our own lunches unattended these days, at least until cold weather arrives and skinks and insects disappear from the house.

In the southern hemisphere, Wintertime comes. Time for handknitted wool socks. Time for sitting in front of a morning fire.

M in JaM


Diana Troldahl said...

I love skinks and their ilk. It is too cold here in Michigan for them, but I loved showering with them when I was in Texas for a short time years ago.
When I was about 4 years old, one of my best friends was a big old garter snake who lived in our garden. I'd go find him and we'd chase each other back and forth until my legs got tired. Then I'd sit and he'd hang out with me for a while. It kind of freaked my mom out a bit. Not that the snake was there, they do no harm and quite a bit of good, but that I called it my friend. It is barely Spring here, I saw my first crocus this week.

M in JaM said...

Diana, the little girl of your childhood chose unusual friends! You tell an amazing story. Me, I chose to marry a man born in the Chinese Year of the Snake. Unusual man. Continues to amaze me. I like amazement.